Detroit Wayne County Airport parking
DTW Airport parking facilities include 19,000 spaces on-site, with many more at off-site Park and Ride lots served by 24-hour shuttle buses. Services include long-term and short-stay, economy lots, valet services, cell phone lots and electric vehicle charging stations for passengers with electric or hybrid cars.
Picking up and dropping off
Designated pick-up and drop-off zones are available curbside in front of the arrivals and departures levels of the main terminal buildings where you can stop briefly to load or unload your car; be aware, though, that vehicles can't be left unattended curbside.
If you're early to meet passengers at arrivals, you can wait free of charge in one of the two cell phone lots until you get the call to head to pick-ups at arrivals. If you would like to leave your car for a short period, short-term hourly parking is available in the main parking garages immediately opposite the terminal buildings.
Detroit Metropolitan Airport parking revolves around two main parking garages immediately opposite each terminal building.
Short-term parking facilities in both garages are the most conveniently located self-park options, charged in 30-minute increments and intended for people dropping passengers off or visiting the airport for just a few hours.
Daily parking, charged at a more economical daily rate, is also available in the main parking garage just a couple of minutes’ walk from the terminal building. It’s ideal for those passengers taking short trips who don't want to carry their bags a long way to the airport entrance.
Valet parking offers the most convenient service of all at DTW; all you need to do is drop off your car at the valet parking area in the main parking terminal and the team will take care of finding a space for you. When you return, they'll also have your car ready to be picked up again in the same area, so you can be on your way as soon as you're through baggage reclaim.
The most economical parking options on-site at DTW Airport are the two economy parking lots, which have a very low flat daily rate. They're a short distance from the terminal buildings, but connected with shuttle buses and can be reached on foot in under 10 minutes. They’re perfect or long-term parking deals.
Although there's plenty of parking to choose from at Detroit Metro Airport, you can't book spaces in advance. A variety of secure, uncovered off-site parking lots that do allow pre-booking can be found close to the airport; you can compare prices for these with us at Looking4Parking.com. Off-site parking lots offer Park and Ride services where you park at a secure lot a few miles from DTW Airport and catch a 10-minute complimentary shuttle bus to the terminals. Some off-site lots also provide a valet service in an identical manner to the on-site options.
Guide to Detroit Wayne County Airport
- (+1) 734-247-7678
- MI 48242
- MT, NT
- Car, bus, taxi, rental
- Free access throughout terminals
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) is almost 5,000 acres (2,023.4 hectares) in size, making it one of the largest air transport hubs in the USA. A crucial gateway to Asia and Europe for airlines like Delta, SkyTeam and Spirit, it is also Michigan's busiest airport, carrying almost 35 million passengers every year.
Two terminals, six runways and 131 gates provide flights to 140 non-stop destinations from Detroit Metro Airport. Domestic routes such as Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago, Las Vegas and New York are the busiest domestically, whilst internationally, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Toronto and Seoul are the most popular destinations.
DTW is only around 21 miles (33.8 kilometers) from Downtown Detroit and finds itself in a good location for Ann Arbor and Toledo, which is just over the state line in Ohio. It plays a crucial role in the local economy, having an estimated economic impact of over $10 billion every year and creating almost 90,000 jobs in a city where unemployment is still a major post-industrial problem.
FAA projections suggest that traffic at Detroit Metro International will grow to around 60 million travelers annually by 2035. Major plans for runway expansions and additions, terminal and concourse redevelopments and improved public transportation systems are underway to accommodate the soaring demand.
Location of Detroit Metro Airport
DTW Airport is situated in the MI 48242 ZIP code area, 21 miles (33.8 kilometers) from Downtown Detroit and a similar distance from Ann Arbor. As the largest airport in the region, it serves passengers from Canton, Pontiac, Troy, Toledo, Flint, Lansing, Sarnia and even Grand Rapids, Fort Wayne and Cleveland. It is close to Michigan’s state lines with Ohio and Indiana, as well as the international border with Canada.
The I-94, I-75 and I-96 are the main road routes into Detroit, with the I-94 running immediately past the airport property from the city center; both the I-75 and I-96 intersect with the I-275, which also runs immediately past the airport.
Public transport connections to the city center are reliant on bus services as there is no rail station close to Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Stops outside each terminal building are served by Metro Detroit Area Transit's SMART bus service and buses from Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA), also known as TheRide.
History of Detroit Metro Airport
Plans were being made for an airport in Wayne County as early as 1927, with a bond raised the next year to purchase land and begin construction. The first flights landed in early 1930 and the airfield was formally dedicated as Wayne County Airport, host to the Thompson Aeronautical Corporation, which would eventually become American Airlines.
Through the years of World War II, Michigan Air National Guard operated from the site, but it was back in the hands of Wayne Country by 1947 and ready to be developed as Detroit's primary airport under the name Detroit-Wayne Major. More runways were added as airlines including Pan-Am and BOAC moved in during the mid-1950s. Delta and Northwest soon followed as a new terminal was announced and a state-of-the-art radar system was installed, ensuring Detroit Airport was the first inland field to receive jet airliners.
Those jets arrived in the 1960s, new terminals were added in 1966 and 1974 and transatlantic flights were introduced in the 1980s as passenger numbers continued to grow. A surge in passenger numbers throughout the late-1990s led to more runway extensions and an unusual new terminal design with over 120 gates and measuring a mile (1.6 kilometers) in length.
This steady growth paused slightly during the Great Recession in 2008, but continued in more recent years, so much so that rapid growth is expected over the next two decades. As carriers continue to bring routes back to Detroit, the airport has promised terminal extensions, public transportation connections and runway improvements to accommodate the Airbus A380.
DTW Airport has won a number of awards for its retail programs, services and amenities. These include accolades for the Best Convenience Retail Program in North America and the healthiest airport three years in a row for offering so many nutritious food options. The on-site Detroit Airport Westin Hotel has also been named as one of the top three airport hotels in North America.
Airport Ambassadors are scattered around the airport and at information desks; you can spot them by their blue uniforms if you need help with anything. Travelers Aid also operates at DTW to help make your experience a pleasant one.
For advance inquiries regarding special assistance, it's usually best to contact your airline in the first instance. For all other questions and concerns, you can contact DTW Airport customer services on (+1) 734-247-7678.
- Short-term parking
- Long-term parking
- Valet parking service
- Economy parking lot
- Covered parking garages
- Cell phone lot
- Accessible parking
- Electric vehicle charging stations
- Bus stations
- 24/7 free airport shuttles
- Free terminal tram shuttle
- Rental car center
- CLEAR, Global Entry and TSA PreCheck
- On-site airport hotel
- Nearby hotels
- Hotel shuttles
- Airline lounges
- DTW armed forces lounge
- Gifts and souvenirs
- Duty free
- Fashion apparel, accessories and luggage
- Gadgets, technology and entertainment
- Books and newsstands
- Fast food and snacks
- American, French, Mediterranean, Asian and Italian food
- Candy shops and desserts
- Deli, sandwiches and subs
- Water feature and light tunnel
- Reflection rooms
- Children's play areas
- Pet relief areas
- Currency exchange
- Airport Ambassadors
- Travelers Aid
- Lost and found
Detroit Wayne County Airport hotel and parking
There are many hotels close to Detroit Airport that offer hotel and parking packages, which can sometimes work out cheaper than on-site parking even if you don’t use the room.
Packages vary, but usually offer up to 10 days of free parking for any DTW passenger with at least one night at the hotel reserved. You can book in advance and cancel for free if necessary. Each hotel provides a complimentary shuttle bus back and forth to the airport itself.
Detroit Airport hotels offering the service include plenty of familiar chains such as Holiday Inn, Travelodge, Comfort Inn and Days Inn and all offer a good standard of accommodation with WiFi and TV.
Comfort Inn Detroit Metro and Clarion Hotel Detroit Metro are both 24-hour, offer a free breakfast plus on-site restaurants and room service, fitness centers and business centers. The best value options available at budget hotel prices include the Magnuson Hotel Detroit Airport, which has a gym and hotel restaurants, whilst America’s Best Value Inn or Howard Johnson Detroit Metro Airport both promise free breakfasts and hotel restaurants.
Top things to do in Detroit Wayne County Airport
Relax in the airline lounges
Both Delta Air Lines and Lufthansa have airline lounges at Detroit Airport that sell day memberships to passengers, regardless of ticket or airline.
Day membership provides you with access to a private lounge, complimentary snacks and drinks, WiFi, TV and business and travel services. The Delta Sky Club close to Gate A38 also has showers available if you need to refresh yourself.
View the light and water installations
Detroit Metro Airport has yet to develop a full art program, but there are two spectacular, large-scale, site-specific installations that children love and few people forget.
A large granite water feature has fountains designed by the same company that created the legendary fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas; it's found in McNamara Terminal on Concourse A.
The second piece is found in the foot tunnel connecting the main McNamara Terminal building with Concourses B and C. The entire 700-foot (213.4-meter) long tunnel is one big light display, with vibrant LEDs shining through sand-blasted glass panels, changing and moving with the ambient music that fills the space.
Tuck into international food
You can find the usual fast food chains and basics throughout the airport, but if you can make it over to the McNamara Terminal, there's some amazing food available from many of the best restaurants local to Detroit and Ann Arbor.
Two outstanding examples include Bigalora, serving up gorgeous oven-baked pizzas made with fresh ingredients, whilst Andiamo provides a wider range of exquisite Italian cuisine.
For outstanding fast food, try the healthy and delicious sandwiches and hot food at Plum Market or sun-inspired nutrition at the Mezza Mediterranean Grill. For dessert, don’t miss Palazzolo's Artisan Gelato and Sorbetto.
Explore the terminal shopping
As is the case with the airport restaurants, McNamara Terminal has the best of the shopping options, with high-end fashion, jewelry and cosmetics from the likes of Brooks Brothers, Desigual, Hugo Boss, Pandora and L'Occitane, to highlight just a few.
There are some great specialist stores, too, such as Creative Kidstuff, Green, Porsche Design and Dylan's Candy Bar.
Unwind in the gym, spa or reflection rooms
DTW has some great opportunities to unwind and relieve all the stress of traveling. The BeRelax Spa in McNamara Terminal provides quick neck, back, shoulder and hand massages as well as basic beauty treatments like manicures and facials.
Both terminals also offer quiet reflection rooms to allow you to meditate and get some calm away from the crowds. One of the best options is provided by the Westin Hotel, located next to the McNamara Terminal; it offers a low-cost day membership for access to a hotel pool and gym, even if you're not a guest at the hotel.
Top things to do near Detroit Wayne County Airport
Based in the original Motown Headquarters, known as Hitsville USA, the Motown Museum is 20 miles (32.2 kilometers) from Detroit Wayne Airport and is dedicated to the history of the remarkable record label and the many legendary artists who passed through its doors.
With exhibits ranging from gold records to stage costumes, photos and an entire preserved recording studio, the museum offers detailed guided tours with exuberant, singing tour guides.
The real magic here is simply being in the space that produced so much incredible music and launched the careers of artists like Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson.
Sat nav instructions: 2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208
Only 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) from Detroit Metro Airport is the Greektown neighborhood. Named after the long list of Greek restaurants that once crowded it, the area is now a lively place to drink, eat, socialize or even to enjoy the casino.
Street entertainment and block parties are regular occurrences throughout the summer months and the whole area is one that rewards exploring to discover hidden bars, restaurants and other surprises.
Sat nav instructions: Beaubien St, Detroit, MI 48226
Hart Plaza Festivals
Detroit has some amazing annual festivals; Philip A Hart Plaza in the center of the city is often the venue to host them. Located 22 miles (35.4 kilometers) from Detroit Wayne County Airport, the plaza hosts the world-famous Detroit International Jazz Festival and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, as well as events like the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival and Motor City Pride.
The Plaza is located close to where the city was founded and, thanks to major events like these, it is still at the heart of Detroit.
Sat nav instructions: Hart Plaza, Detroit, MI 48226
The Eastern Market is 23 miles (37 kilometers) from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. It’s considered the largest historic public market and the largest open-air flowerbed market in the country.
There are over 150 food and specialty businesses with up to 45,000 visitors every Saturday, so the shopper’s paradise is always packed with bargains. There's no end to the diverse and delicious fresh foods that bring flavors and ingredients from all over the world (and be sure to keep your eyes open for the street art dotted around whilst you’re there).
Sat nav instructions: Alfred St, Detroit, MI 48207
Home to Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) Detroit Tigers, Comerica Park is a central ball park about 24 miles (38.6 kilometers) from Detroit Metropolitan Airport. It’s not just used for baseball, though; it’s also hosted music concerts, soccer and ice-hockey games.
The stadium is full of interesting features; likenesses of tigers are worked into the architecture and decoration throughout the construction, which also features a Ferris wheel, a carousel, a picnic area, a display fountain and lots of bars and patio areas. You’ll be treated to some striking views of the Detroit skyline from the upper decks.
Sat nav instructions: 2100 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Detroit Institute of Arts
Over 100 galleries display one of the largest art collections in the USA at the Detroit Institute of Arts, spanning time and place to offer up an encyclopedia of styles, cultures and influences estimated to be worth more than $8 billion.
Found 21 miles (33.8 kilometers) from DTW International Airport, the Institute is housed in an Italian Renaissance-style building, decorated with fresco murals depicting Detroit's industrial history.
With a theater, lecture hall, reference library and conservation lab, it regularly hosts special exhibitions alongside rotations of the permanent collection. A few of the artists featured there include Audubon, Chihuly, Sargent, Warhol, Whistler, Bruegel, Monet, Degas, Rembrandt, Matisse and van Gogh.
Sat nav instructions: 5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202
Originally a flagship movie theater for the Fox studio, the Fox Theater is a landmark at the heart of the Detroit theater district, which is often referred to as Foxtown.
The theater scene in Detroit, just 24 miles (38.6 kilometers) from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, is the country's second-largest, with many touring Broadway shows being hosted there and an endless list of major music acts touring through the Fox and other venues.
Catching a show at the Fox Theater is a special experience with its beautiful ornate interiors and iconic neon façade exterior, so make sure to check what's on.
Sat nav instructions: 2211 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Charles H Wright Museum of African American History
Displaying the world's largest permanent exhibit on African American culture, the Wright Museum has a collection of over 30,000 artefacts covering subjects like the underground railroad, the labor movement, African art and literature, politics, slavery and civil rights.
Housed in a striking modern building that also hosts film screenings, theater performances, lectures and special exhibitions, there are guided tours available for all visitors. The Wright Museum, which is just 22 miles (35.4 kilometers) from DTW Airport, is an often powerful and moving experience you shouldn't miss.
Sat nav instructions: 315 E Warren Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Belle Isle Park
Covering almost 1,000 acres (404.7 hectares) of an island in the middle of the Detroit River at the center of the city, Belle Isle Park is a wonderful green space about 30 miles (48.3 kilometers) from Detroit Metro Airport.
Managed as a state park, the island includes an aquarium, conservatory, zoo, museum and golf course, whilst there's also an incredible array of plant and animal life to spot. Everything at the park is free and there's plenty to do whatever your age or interest.
Sat nav instructions: 7039 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48207
There are two primary terminal buildings at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, namely, the McNamara Terminal (MT) and the North Terminal (NT). McNamara is primarily used by Delta Air Lines, which is the largest carrier at DTW, though flights from Aeroméxico and Air France also operate there - all other airlines use the North Terminal. McNamara is more modern and better equipped than the NT and comes complete with a tram system to get around and a Westin Hotel immediately next door, so it's the best place to head for if you've got a flight delay or layover.
Travelers Aid and Airport Ambassadors work at the airport to help with any queries.
If you need to reserve a wheelchair, make sure you contact your airline in advance, as it is up to them to make the reservation for your time at DTW. For any other inquiries in advance of traveling, speak to Detroit Metro Airport customer services on (+1) 734-247-7678.
How to get to Detroit Wayne County Airport
Located in the MI 48242 ZIP code about 21 miles (33.8 kilometers) outside Detroit, DTW International Airport is in a good location for road access with two Interstates, the I-275 and I-94 running immediately next to the airport property. From the city center, the I-94 is ideal, as it runs directly through Downtown and on past the airport itself.
From outside Detroit, the I-94, I-75 and I-96 are the main routes into the metropolitan area. The I-94 and I-96 both run in an east-west direction, connecting via the I-275 that runs on to DTW. The I-75 runs north-south through Detroit, connecting with the I-94 in the city center to access the airport. It is clearly signposted along each route.
Positioned halfway between Detroit and Ann Arbor, Detroit Metro has two bus services connecting to it. Traveling from the center of Detroit, the Metro Detroit Area Transit provides a SMART bus service that runs from Downtown to the DTW Airport terminals. From out of town, Greyhound buses run into Detroit city center, where you can switch to the SMART bus service to reach the airport.
Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority also provides an AirRide service that runs directly to the airport from Blake Transit Center, near the University of Michigan in the city center.
There are no direct rail services to Detroit Metro Airport. However, Amtrak runs services to Detroit Station close to the city center, where you can connect to the SMART bus service to reach DTW Airport.
Workaround for long security lines
Security checkpoints generally move quite quickly at DTW Airport and TSA PreCheck is available to aid this, but if you find yourself facing long queues in the McNamara Terminal, consider heading to the Westin Hotel, which is attached to the terminal itself. There's a small security checkpoint in the hotel open between 8am and 7pm, which is rarely busy because it’s relatively unknown.
Aim for McNamara Terminal
It’s not always possible to decide which terminal you want to fly out of, but if you find yourself delayed or on a long layover, you'll find the widest choice of concessions and facilities in the McNamara Terminal building, which is more modern than the North terminal.
Use the McNamara tram
The McNamara Terminal building is designed in one long, straight line, with a shuttle-tram system running from one end to the other; using it can save valuable time if you're in a rush to get to the far end of the building. It’s clearly signposted throughout the terminal building and you can ask a Travelers Aid representative to point you in the right direction if you can’t find it; they’re in blue uniforms.
Detroit Wayne County Airport FAQs
How big is Detroit Metro Airport?
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County International Airport covers almost 5,000 acres (2,023.4 hectares) of land, which puts it amongst the largest airports by land area in the world. By passenger numbers, it ranks just outside the 15 largest airports in the USA with almost 35 million people traveling through it every year.
Does Detroit Metro Airport have free WiFi?
Yes, Detroit Metro International Airport has free WiFi available across the terminal and concourses provided by Boingo, which is the service that has WiFi networks at many international airports in America. Once you're at the airport, check for wireless networks using your device and select the SSID “Detroit Airport WiFi”. The service is complimentary, but you will have to watch a short ad for every 45 minutes of WiFi usage.
Is DTW Airport safe?
Detroit is currently enjoying a period of revitalization across the city and the area specifically around DTW Airport is considered entirely safe. It is quite a distance from the city center with limited public transport connections, so usually the only people around are other passengers and employees of the airport and airlines.
Can you smoke in Detroit Airport?
No, there is no smoking allowed anywhere in the airport buildings, but designated smoking areas are available pre-security outside the arrivals and departures areas of each terminal.
Can Uber pick up at Detroit Metro Airport?
Yes, services like Uber and Lyft are allowed to drop off and pick up passengers from the airport in the designated pick-up and drop-off zones outside the terminal buildings.
Can you sleep in DTW Airport?
DTW Airport is technically open 24 hours a day, but it closes almost completely at night with no 24-hour food and drink concessions available. If you do want to sleep there, it's a good idea to stock up on some snacks before everything shuts. Alternatively, there's a Westin Hotel on-site next to the McNamara Terminal and numerous nearby hotels offering free shuttles, so it's easy to get a good rest at a comfortable hotel just a few minutes from the terminal buildings.
When did Detroit Metro Airport open?
Wayne County Airport, the original name for the airfield, opened in 1930 with regular scheduled flights starting in 1931. Used by the military during World War II, it re-opened to the public in 1947 under the new name of Detroit-Wayne Major Airport.
What does DTW Airport stand for?
DTW is the three-letter IATA code for the airport, a standardized system of abbreviations for airports worldwide. The codes are loosely based on the name of the airport, so DTW simply stands for Detroit Wayne.